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Green is for Emerald

Emerald is the Sign of Spring

EMERALD:
Emerald is the sign of spring is regarded as one of the most desirable gemstones,

Gemstone Group- Beryl

Chemical Composition-
Beryl is a silicate of beryllium and aluminium with the formula of Be3A12(SiO3)6. The fine intense green is caused by a trace of chromium and/or vanadium replacing the aluminium in the beryl structure. Emerald may also contain iron, however, a beryl coloured green by iron alone may not be called an emerald (its name is green beryl).

Gemstone Family includes:  

  • Emerald – deep velvety green to grass green.
  • Green Beryl – (as distinct from emerald) paler green to yellow-green.
  • Aquamarine – pale blue to greenish-blue to rich blue.
  • Maxixe Beryl – blue beryl (not the same as aquamarine).
  • Heliodor (Yellow or Golden Beryl) – yellow to deep golden.
  • Morganite (Pink Beryl) – pale pink to deep rose.
  • Red Beryl – deep red (the name “Bixbite” for this colour variety is considered unacceptable).
  • Goshenite (Colourless) – colourless: more or less pure beryl.
  • A brown cat’s eye is also known.

 

Colour:  deep velvety green to grass green.

Mohs Hardness:  7.5 to 8.

Birthstone:  May

Wedding Anniversary:  55th

Spiritual and Mythological Meaning
Want to see into the future? Be an eloquent speaker? Defeat spells and enchantments?
Such is the lore of the emerald.

A collated list of what Emeralds are purported to do:

  • Confer riches, power, and eloquence if worn as talismans.
  • Strengthen memory and sharpened wits.
  • easing of stressed states, calming
  • Predict future events.
  • provide protection on journeys
  • Healing powers, both emotional and physical, lift depression, cure insomnia, detoxify blood, and cure ailments of the heart, eyes, pancreas, backbone, lymph nodes, intestines, kidneys and thymus.
  • Alleviate complications of diabetes and enhance the immune system.
  • Providing love and fidelity, inspiration, wisdom, harmony, growth, patience, peace and abundance.
  • Worn as a talisman, will ward off evil spirits and possession.
  • The green of Emeralds soothed the eyes, and vision was restored when gazing upon them.
  • In past eras, Arab, Hindu, and Spanish physicians used emeralds against poison, infection, and dysentery.
  • Rebirth and fertility, and could ease childbirth. Egyptian Mummies would be buried with an Emerald around their neck in hopes of bringing them eternal youth.

Treatment: 
Industry accepted- colourless oil (Canada balsam, cedar wood oil, etc.). This treatment attempts to hide surface reaching fractures and make the gem more transparent.
Industry unaccepted- coloured oils or an optical sealant with a hardening agent used to seal surface reaching fractures,

Occurrence:
Commercial production – Brazil, Colombia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Pakistan and India.
Minor production or historic – Australia (Poona W.A., Torrington N.S.W.), Austria (historic), Russia (historic), U.S.A., Tanzania, Ghana and Madagascar.

 

Inclusions:
very included, Emerald is one of the gemstones most easily identified by its imperfections, contains not only many crystal inclusions, but also three-phase inclusions – irregular spaces filled with solid, liquid and gaseous matter.
Emeralds have such a variety of inclusions, however an experienced gemmologist can often tell locality based on characteristic inclusions of that area.

 

Watch out for Imitations and Synthetics:

Synthetic Emerald, tourmaline, peridot, demantoid garnet, chrome diopside, sphene, dioptase, zircon, glass, doublets and triplets.

 

Fun Facts:

  • The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 B.C. into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.
  • Famous emeralds include Elizabeth Taylor’s Bulgari emerald and diamond pendant brooch. It holds the record for the most expensive piece of emerald jewellery sold at auction. “Richard Burton purchased this brooch for Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Cleopatrain Rome in the early days of their romance,” says Chen of Christie’s. Approximately 23.46 carats, it was worn by the actress at their wedding in 1964, before being sold at Christie’s in 2011 for $6.6 million
  • The worlds most expensive Emerald, 381Kg, $400 Million Cursed Bahia, 180,000 carat jewel (which is actually several emeralds geologically fused together, one the size of a man’s thigh). Its curse has ravaged the lives of nearly every person it’s come in contact with since it was discovered in a Brazilian rainforest mine in 2001.  Like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, the Bahia Emerald was in the process of being removed from the mine shaft by mules when they were attacked and killed by wild panthers.  The gem traders who owned the mine then forced workers to painstakingly remove the massive 381kg (840lb) emerald from underground with a makeshift stretcher.  The Emerald standing at almost three feet tall
    • The stone’s next fateful encounter came when it was flooded in an underground vault during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
    • Soon after it was stolen from a locked vault in Los Angeles and held as collateral for loans or diamond sales.  
    • Up next came a near fatal blood bath when the Bahia Emerald was at the center of a transaction gone wrong involving one Columbian family in the Nevada desert.  The stone was then promised to infamous multi-billionaire fraudster Bernie Madoff, but two days before the handover was supposed to happen, Madoff was arrested and sent to prison.  Mark Downie was another claimant who was found not credible, and in
    • 2011 a California businessman named Tony Thomas stated he paid the Brazilian miners $60,000 for the Bahia right before it was stolen from him.  There are several other parties in the rights case, including a group headed by jewel trader Kit Morrison who was in possession of the Bahia when it was seized by U.S. authorities when Morrison’s business partner attempted to sell it in Idaho.  
    • The gemstone has also been witness to dramatic encounters at a Sao Paolo car park, an abandoned gas station in San Jose, and it even showed up for sale on eBay for $75 million.  Other parties laying claim to the stone include: the Smithsonian in Washington, the Getty Museum, and the Brazilian government.
    • The Bahia Emerald remains in a secret location somewhere in LA. This is where it will stay until the Brazilian authorities drop their legal case or agree to recognize FM Holdings, LLC, as the owners of the stone

 

References

GAA Course Notes

https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-emerald-gems-yore/

https://www.gia.edu/seeing-green

https://www.multicolour.com/emerald/emerald-and-mythology.html

https://www.galeriemagazine.com/worlds-most-famous-emerald-jewels/

https://www.feelguide.com/2014/10/22/worlds-most-expensive-emerald-the-381kg-400-million-cursed-bahia-lands-in-epic-l-a-court-battle/

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